Saturday, August 6, 2011

Floor Plans

Question:  An open great room OR a segregated kitchen?

After many years of living in apartments and trailer homes with segregated kitchens, I always dreamed of having a large open kitchen, dining, living room combo, aka the great room.  When I purchased our previous home nearly 16 1/2 years ago the kitchen was segregated.  So, the dream of a great room where I would not be isolated from gatherings while preparing snacks or meals continued to be a dream.

During this relocation process our desire for a great room configuration continued.  But we've never eliminated looking at homes that have segregated kitchens because, after remodeling our old house, we've discovered that we could always knock down a couple walls if necessary.  Four months ago, the littles and I moved into our temporary housing with Mr.B.  We are currently living in a three bedroom, 2 bath trailer home that has the great room configuration we've always dreamed of.  While working in the kitchen, I am "right in the middle" of everything going on in the living room area.  A dream come true, right?

NOT !!!  Mr.B has, in my opinion, an addiction to television.  If he is awake and a television is present, that noisy box is blaring.  True crime shows, political debate programs, newscasts, hunting/fishing shows ... on and on it goes - a never ending barrage of blah, blah, blah (he doesn't even turn it off when we have guests).  Now, those of you who know me personally know that I can go days, even weeks, without turning the "box" on.  I like and enjoy silence.  I have many interests that keep me occupied and thus, I have do not have a need to be entertained by the television.  Please don't get me wrong, I do enjoy watching an occasional movie and generally, when living in S.E. Texas away from Mr.B I did make a point to catch a news broadcast every 7-10 days.  Because of newspapers and free newspaper reading via the internet, I've never found a t.v. to be a necessity.

During the past 4 months, I have discovered that while a great room configuration would be nice for social gatherings, it is not practical for our family's day-to-day living.  We home school at the kitchen table - the noise of the television is a constant distraction.  I spend a lot of time working in the kitchen - the television is a constant distraction and annoyance.  If I want to read a book, I have to isolate myself in the bedroom, if I want to read some blogs or post on my own blog, I have to wait until Mr.B is gone, so the television is not a distraction.  When trying to talk with the children or have a Bible lesson, we have to isolate ourselves in a bedroom, because, again, the television is a huge distraction.  And my #1 "nails scraping a chalkboard moment", trying to enjoy a nice family meal while Mr.B and the little's heads are turned to stare at the box! - I've given up trying to have a mealtime conversation.

This has been another lesson to me that we need to think through very carefully the things we wish for.  I have been the driving force behind our family's desire for a great room configuration, but now that I'm living with one - I've learned that I did not realize the full implications of how negatively that type of floor plan would affect our daily lives.  It is ironic that I am now very happy that the home we are currently purchasing has a large segregated eat-in kitchen.  I'm confident I will find myself isolated during a few social gatherings, but regarding day-to-day living, I will welcome the quiet and isolation as the littles and I work on our daily tasks.  Most of all, I will, once again, welcome daily family meal times without that blaring box.

When we first put an offer on our new home, 3 months ago, I thought this home was a 9 out of 10 because of the segregated kitchen.  Now, because of the segregated kitchen, I expect our new home to become a perfect 10!


  1. Hello Mrs B,

    I understand completely how you feel. I have decided only to watch Christian TV. Of course here in Australia we have very few channels compared to the US but it certainly is very distracting if you are wanting some quiet time. I think it must be a man thing. My lovely ma n is continually changing the channel and our little TV room is right off the kitchen so the noise comes right into our kitchen.
    I am so happy for you that your new home is a 10. It will be worth the wait.

    Blessings Gail

  2. I had to laugh when I was reading this because I feel your pain! My husband is the same way! Unfortunately my children have the TV bug as well. If we aren't busy with other things they think it must be droning.
    In our last house the kitchen was way down the hall from the living room so you really were separated from everyone. But here it's just off the living room so I don't feel so out of the loop.
    May your new home be a blessed and happy place for you and your family :)


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